The NFL released its full schedule last night, which is always fun. I don't really think you should draft or not draft players based too heavily on the schedule, but there are some interesting things that can be taken from it to break ties between closely ranked players.
Here is some of what was most interesting to me:
Bye weeks over after Week 11. The last couple of years teams have had byes in Weeks 12 and/or Week 13. That can be pretty annoying when you're in the midst of a playoff push, or in Fantasy Football Players Championship leagues where you're actually in the playoffs. Imagine cruising through the season with Aaron Rodgers, say, and then not having him available for a playoff semifinal. So no byes after Week 11. Also...
No bye weeks before Week 5. We all like to get off to a good start, so it's nice that no teams have their bye in Week 4. That was simply too early, and won't be an issue this year. On the other hand....
Three weeks with six teams on bye. There are three of the dreaded 6-team bye weeks, and they're clumped together in Weeks 8, 9 and 11 (the latter of which is the last week of the regular season in those FFPC competitions). I seldom worry too much about byes when drafting, but you probably don't want to back up Andrew Luck or Cam Newton with Ryan Tannehill or Jameis Winston, since they'll all be on byes at the same time. As an aside, Week 11 is kind of a lousy week for a lot of top quarterbacks who aren't on bye. Matt Ryan will be at Seattle, and Aaron Rodgers will be facing the Ravens. Not something to think too heavily about I guess.
It's like the 30th straight year of the Cowboys opening against the Giants. Maybe not quite that often, but it happens a lot. Usually seems to be plenty of offense in those games, which is nice for those who draft Odell or Dez. In contrast, the Packers open against Seattle, the Chargers open at Denver, the Saints open up in Minnesota and the Jaguars open in Houston. Some talented offenses drawing some tricky defenses in that opening week.
The poor Bills. Somehow Buffalo drew a pretty ugly schedule. They host the Jets to start, so that's good, but then play their next three against the Panthers, Falcons and Broncos, two on the road. Slightly more mystifying is that they play all four of their games against the AFC East's best teams, the Patriots and Dolphins, in December. Altogether they play seven games against playoff teams from a year ago; two against the previous year's Super Bowl teams; and a pair against the Saints and Bucs. And did I mention four of their last five against the Dolphins and Patriots?
NFL doesn't like the frozen tundra. After November 19, the Packers will play only two home games. They'll play four times on the road, at Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Carolina and Detroit.
Primetime Cowboys and Patriots. The league's best teams a year ago will live in primetime. The Cowboys will play at 8:30 eastern three times from Week 11 on, five total. New England will show up as a night game basically every three weeks. It's fine, ratings are king. Main negative from a fantasy standpoint is the Patriots are one of the least transparent teams with the injury report, so you may need to make lineup decisions without knowing which Patriots will be active. The Falcons also have five 8:30 games. BTW, Atlanta probably won't play a cold-weather game all season. Their road games in November and December are at Seattle, Tampa Bay and New Orleans.